7 killed in fire in hotel-turned-COVID care facility in Andhra
Seven people were killed in a fire accident in a hotel that was being used as a COVID-19 hospital in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijaywada, early on Sunday (Aug 9).
The fire broke at around 5 am on Sunday in Hotel Swarna Palace which was taken on lease and being run by Ramesh hospitals. There were 40 people at the Vijayawada facility—30 COVID-19 patients and 10 hospital staff—when the fire broke out. The eyewitnesses said that a thick smoke enveloped the hotel and the patients trapped inside were screaming for help. 30 people were reportedly rescued from the spot.
Police officials said that the fire was brought under control within 30 minutes after fire tenders rushed to the spot and swung into action. The injured were admitted to the nearby hospitals.
“The incident took place around 5 am. Around 22 patients are being treated in hospital. We are evacuating the entire building. The reason of fire appears to be a short circuit, as per the preliminary report, but we will have to ascertain,” said Krishna District Collector Mohammad Imtiaz.
According to preliminary reports, the fire broke out in the ground floor and spread to the upper floors. Some of the panic-stricken patients jumped from the first floor to save themselves but were injured in the process.
15-20 people were injured in the fire accident, out of which two to three people are critically, a senior police officer told NDTV.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the fire accident and ordered an in-depth probe while directing authorities to take steps to ensure better medical services to the victims of the accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter to express anguish at the death of patients. He said he discussed the incident with state chief minister and assured all possible help.
Anguished by the fire at a Covid Centre in Vijayawada. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that the injured recover as soon as possible. Discussed the prevailing situation with AP CM @ysjagan Ji and assured all possible support.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 9, 2020
The incident comes close on the heels of a similar fire mishap at a hospital in Ahmedabad in which eight people were killed on Thursday (Aug 6). There were 49 patients in Shrey Hospital at that time among which eight of them were in the ICU, located on the fourth floor, which was completely charred.